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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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"WILIJA3I   VOX   HmtBOLDT.                    34*7"
his heart, and was united in a peculiar manner, partly
"with the idea of fate of the ancients, and partly with
such theosophic and philosophic views as many"of the
most thinking minds3 from the oldest times, amon^
Hindoos., Greeks, and Germans, have tried to fathomt
His philosophy of history was also based on these
views, and, indeed3 the whole philosophical result of
his reflections tended to this point. But he does not
require all what he conceived in thought, faith, and
imagination, to be philosophically proved., and,, unlike
the thinkers of his day, he takes refuge with his
innermost feelings in the region of poetry, where the
doubt of the moment finds equal expression with the
boldest flight of thought.
He was indifferent to dogmas, but not hostile to
them. He avoided them with that awe which fears
to profane holy things ; and where he could not
escape it, he treats it as an established fact, to which.
all submit, shirking any further explanation,
Such a man. could not be out of place as the presi-
dent of the ministry for public worship, as his office
merely requires him to supervise the department, and
guard the interests of the State, letting the spiritual
authorities under him superintend the details. "His
sphere, his positive business, is public instruction;
here he has not merely to watch, but to lead, and in
regard to Humboldt^s great and j^culiarly appropriate
qualities for this post, the question as to Ms fitness
for the religious part of his duty may be answered in.
the affirmative.
The manner in which he fulfilled his duties left no
doubt on the subject. As it was Ms principle to give
fall scope to the spirit of freedom, he seems to have
made it Ms especial duty in no way to oppose Hie
independent activity of JNieolovluSj his colleague in
the religious department, but to meet his wishes and
demands as far as was in Ms power, when tfcey were
not diametrically opposed to Ms own views of expe-
diency or liberality. Nicolovius has also gratefully
acknowledged the assistance he received from Hum-